Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Here’s a fun thing to do on a Friday evening after work: Stop by the Old Sugar Distillery for a snort. We have a few brew pubs in town where you can pull up a chair and ask them to draw a frosty glass of beer brewed right on the premises, but up until the week before last I didn’t know we had a distillery right here in Madison where you could do that.

We made our first visit three weeks ago when the owner was handing out samples at Star Liquor, our favorite place to stop on a Friday after work because that’s when they’re almost always hosting a free beer tasting. They’ll get a brewmeister from one of the local breweries, or a rep from a distributor to bring in samples of the latest seasonal ales and other goodies. If you stop in, they’ll pour you an ounce or so of each and tell you about them. It’s a great way to meet the local brewers, and not incidentally to also taste some really great beer.

The week before last they played host to a couple different distillers, and that’s when we met the guy who owns the Old Sugar Distillery. He told us a little bit about the place and the products, and when we heard it was just a couple blocks down the road we couldn’t think of a thing we’d rather do than stop by to taste what they had to offer.

Right in the middle of the old factory building where they make their magic there’s a room where heavy steel racks hold stacks of oak barrels up the walls. A great big copper still sits in the front of the room by the window, and in the middle of the room there’s a bar that appears to be made out of wood salvaged from a dairy barn. There are only a half-dozen or so stools at the bar, but there are several tables around it so there’s plenty of room for lots of people to sit and enjoy their drinks, and a good thing, too, because the place is hugely popular. Each time we visited, almost all the seats were taken.

They’ll give you a tour of the place if you ask, but we haven’t asked yet. After a long week of office work, it’s way too relaxing to just hang out on a bar stool, nursing a tasty cocktail. The first one I tried was the Cuba Libre, a rum and coke. I have no idea what makes a really good rum, I only know I like the rum they make there. Very tasty. The bartender was good enough to make me a baby one and leave me the Coke bottle so I could nurse it.

The last time we went, I tried B’s favorite cocktail, the Good and Plenty. Made with ouzo, it tastes like licorice. I drank a little less than half of it before I started to feel as though I shouldn’t finish, so I asked B to help. She was only to happy to pitch in.

snort | 6:05 pm CST
Category: booze, daily drivel, food & drink, My Darling B, O'Folks, play | Tags:
3 Comments | Add a comment


  1. 1 The Seanster said at 12:16 am on July 10th, 2011:

    That’s cool; we also have a distillery right here in downtown Denver, Stranahan’s whiskey. Whiskey and hard liquor aren’t really my thing, but I still think it’s cool that it’s right in the middle of the city.

  2. 2 B said at 9:16 am on July 10th, 2011:

    Cool, Sean. Now I know where Dad & I can hang in the middle of the day while you’re at work ;)

  3. 3 The Seanster said at 9:44 pm on July 10th, 2011:

    As you wish. By the way, Tom and Laura like you (“It’s almost like they’re real people!”, they said), and look forward to meeting you in October. :)